National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Falling Through the Net: Defining the Digital Divide (Oct. 1999) (full-text).
This report, NTIA's third in the "Falling Through the Net" series, relies on December 1998 U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau data to provide an updated snapshot of the digital divide. The good news is that Americans are more connected than ever before. Access to computers and the Internet has increased substantially for people in all demographic groups and geographic locations. At the end of 1998, over 40% of American households owned computers, and one-quarter of all households had Internet access. Additionally, those who were less likely to have telephones (chiefly, young and minority households in rural areas) are now more likely to have telephones at home.
However, there is the persistence of the digital divide between the information rich (such as Whites, Asians/Pacific Islanders, those with higher incomes, those more educated, and dual-parent households) and the information poor (such as those who are younger, those with lower incomes and education levels, certain minorities, and those in rural areas or central cities). For many groups, the digital divide has widened as the information "haves" outpace the "have nots" in gaining access to electronic resources.